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August 27, 2015

The beauty of mystery

Spring flowers are almost universally depicted as bright, lush and abundant, but we put aside that Hallmark sentiment and headed to the Adelaide Hills with artist and florist Morgan Allender to find blooms full of mystery and delicacy.

  • Art direction and photography: Morgan Allender // The Tenth Meadow


A is for Anemone Clematis, also known as Clematis Montana – a vigorous climbing plant originally from mountainous regions of Asia that flowers early in Adelaide’s spring.


C is for Chrysanthemum – not just for Mother’s Day, this versatile bloom is also widely used in food, has been proven to improve air quality and can function as an insecticide.


D is for Delphinium  – the perennially flowering plant, which was named with the Latin word for “dolphin” thanks to its shape, and made its way to SA from its native habitat in tropical Africa’s mountains.


H is for Hellebore – known in witchcraft for its power to summon demons, this plant is more prosaically (and more often) used as a decorative flower in backyards across Australia.


O is for Orchid – one of the most diverse species of flower, there are almost as many kinds of orchids as there are fish. Pictured here is a Slipper Orchid.


Q is for Quercus Oak – the tree is near ubiquitous in the Northern Hemisphere, but this version – a white oak – seems quite happy in the local climate and will offer up acorns that ripen in about six months. 


R is for Rose – the rose is a versatile flower with many species, some of which take meanings as specific as being for “new homes”. This iteration though, the Children’s Rose, is known for its beauty and ability to grow well in Aussie conditions. 


S is for Snowdrop, also known as Galanthus – the white carpet these flowers form is a signal that spring has arrived as their downward looking faces brighten the earth beneath our feet.


T is for Tulip – the flower responsible for what is largely accepted as the first ever speculative financial bubble in history: a tulip bulb could sell for 10 times the annual craftsperson’s wage in 1637 Amsterdam.

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